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Prevent Charcot Foot And Avoid Injury

Charcot Foot

how diabetes puts you at risk

Diabetes is a significant problem in the United States. While diabetes causes many adverse effects on one’s body, the most commonly-hospitalized reason involves the foot. Diabetes causes nerve damage and poor circulation, which is a catalyst for most foot problems. In addition, diabetics are unable to heal and fight infection normally.

One of the complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes is known as diabetic Charcot neuropathy or Charcot foot. Commonly unrecognized until it gets severe, Charcot foot can deform the shape of the foot and potentially lead to disability. One of the best treatments is prevention. If this condition is not recognized and treated early, amputation can happen.

Charcot foot is a bone deformity that is a direct result of neuropathy in the foot, a decreased sensation of pain or feeling.

With a more diminished sense of pain and balance, those with Charcot foot tend not to notice as the disease’s effects as they worsen. As Charcot foot develops, it weakens the bones in the foot. This weakening becomes a severe problem since the affected person will continue to walk on the foot and cause trauma and fracturing. 

As a result of this continued stress on weakened bones, the joints within the foot collapse and cause a visible deformation usually at the arch of the foot. The Charcot foot is a result of poor healing and continuous trauma.

The weakening of the bones and the lack of sensation are the amplifiers of Charcot foot. This disease weakens the bones in the foot, so it’s more common for a sprain, fracture, dislocation, etc., to occur.

Neuropathy decreases the ability to feel an injury and a bone break or severe sprain. As one continues to put pressure on the damaged foot, neuropathy prevents the affected person from being aware anything is wrong, and further damage occurs.

Orthotics are a great way to relieve foot pain. If you have diabetes, be sure to consult with your physician to find the right orthotic option for you.

How To Treat Charcot Foot

and how to prevent it

At its core, Charcot foot is a broken bone, so treatment methods are similar to that. Pressure needs to be taken off the foot, while the bones heal naturally. Special shoes or casting will be required to achieve this in the early stages. However, if Charcot foot has progressed enough that a deformity is noticeable (usually a swollen area on the arch or ankle of the foot), surgery may be the best option.

The best way to treat Charcot foot is to catch it early before any severe damage occurs. If you notice problems, tell your doctor immediately. If you have long-standing diabetic neuropathy, you should seek professional evaluation of the foot regardless.

If you have diabetes, you’re more susceptible to this condition, so daily monitoring of your feet is imperative. Any sensation of pain – no matter the severity – should be brought up with your doctor. Redness and foot swelling are early indicators, so look out for these signs as well. If you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy before, be very cognizant of the conditions of your feet.

Charcot foot is caused due to a lack of the person affected knowing something is wrong. To combat this, one needs merely to be aware of their feet and check them daily for any abnormalities, especially if you have diabetes or neuropathy. Any mild sprain, misstep or impact to the foot should prompt a visit to you orthopedic surgeon. Otherwise, an injury will be missed and serious interventions may become necessary.


At Well Theory, we advocate for patient-led treatment and natural therapies. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

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